The Berkeley Energy Assurance Transformation (BEAT) project will develop an innovative, scalable, and replicable model for advancing energy reliability, increasing energy efficiency and sustainable water use, and improving access to clean energy for public and private facilities in a dense urban context.
At the core of the BEAT project are clean energy microgrids. The City and its team seek to develop a demonstration microgrid that connects multiple facilities into a Clean Energy Microgrid Community, our proposed strategy for developing Advanced Energy Communities (AECs) in dense urban areas. To achieve multiple economic, environmental and resilience benefits, the community would aggregate and share clean energy from distributed energy resources, such as solar and energy storage batteries, across multiple facilities during peak periods and would “island” from the main grid when power supply is disrupted. In a dense urban context where there are barriers for individual buildings to achieve Zero Net Energy (ZNE), the project will demonstrate the potential for a network of multiple buildings to transition to ZNE communities through increased energy efficiency and smart grid technologies that enable optimum energy load management. The approach achieves the highest level of energy resilience and reliability at the same time that it enables active energy management by individual energy customers and the Clean Energy Microgrid Community as a whole.
The BEAT project will have two phases. Phase I, will analyze and illustrate the regulatory, operational, financial, and technological feasibility of CEMCs and, based on that analysis, develop a case study and shovel-ready Downtown Berkeley Clean Energy Microgrid Community Pilot Plan to be built in Phase II.
The goals and objectives will be achieved by (1) developing and designing a Downtown Berkeley Clean Energy Microgrid Community Pilot Plan, (2) compiling a Case Study of lessons learned for developing CEMCs in urban areas, (3) engaging a qualified team and critical stakeholders in that process and (4) transferring the knowledge acquired to the public and other jurisdictions.